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Reopening reception puts Fraser Street Gallery on display in State College

Maggie Wolszczan hangs a Susan Nicholas Gephart painting in the Fraser Street Gallery, which will hold a reopening reception Friday.
Maggie Wolszczan hangs a Susan Nicholas Gephart painting in the Fraser Street Gallery, which will hold a reopening reception Friday. CDT photo

Maggie Wolszczan’s vision is almost complete.

She just has to put the finishing touches on the Fraser Street Gallery before its relaunch and opening reception Friday.

Those touches include hanging her artwork and the work of artists Sarah Kipp and Susan Nicholas Gephart and displaying Chris Bittner’s sculptures.

“I think this is the perfect place for an art gallery,” Wolszczan said. “It’s really a very emotional moment for me hanging artwork for my first show. It’s coming to life, and it’s what I’ve always wanted it to be.”

Her friends and family, including her father, Alexander Wolszczan, have been helping to rejuvenate the 600-square-foot gallery in time for the reception, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Light snacks and beverages will be served at the reception, and music will be performed by Danny Brumbaugh.

Wolszczan had dreamed of owning an art gallery for years and had been director of the gallery since October 2012. In September, owner Chuck Fong gave her the opportunity to lease the gallery herself, and she jumped at the chance.

Fraser Street Gallery and Fong’s Studio 2 were a shared space that is now divided by a wall, allowing both galleries to display more work. Other changes to the interior include new flooring and lighting.

Fong said he likes the gallery’s new look, and he plans to display some of his photography there in November.

“She’s spent so much time and effort into making the gallery look beautiful,” Fong said.

Kipp said she is honored to have her artwork displayed at the gallery’s relaunch.

“I’m very excited for this, because it adds so much to the character of downtown,” she said.

The gallery also will host poetry readings, small music concerts and parties, Wolszczan said.

“We’ll have events, definitely, because this is a creative space where people can come and be surrounded by beautiful art,” she said.

She hopes it’s just a matter of getting the word out.

“If I have to go door-to-door to make the gallery a success, that’s what I’ll do.”

And she’s grateful to Fong.

“I owe Chuck a great deal for the opportunity he gave me and for everything he brought to the gallery,” she said, “because without him the gallery certainly would not have reached its prominence,” Wolszczan said.

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